My daughter’s eureka-moment

02/04/2020

Homeschooling. Home office. Stay in, stay healthy. We didn't see it coming. If someone had told me two months ago that the borders would be closed, we could only buy groceries and medicine and we could get a fine for walking in a group through the town, I would have declared them out of their mind. Yet here we are.

We need to get a grip. Many do it by creating structure. Me, too. Have breakfast, then clear the table. Do your homework in the online tool. Screen-time from 9 am.

It's 8:26. We have just finished breakfast. I am sitting at the table with my 8-year-old. She asks: 

-How long before my screen-time?

- How long do you think?

She looks at the digital clock on our oven and thinks for a moment.

- Fourty-four minutes.

- Are you sure? - I ask back.

- Yes.

- Well, it's not really correct. Do you remember how many minutes there are in one hour?

- Yes, sixty.

- So how many minutes before you can have your screen-time?

I see slight panic in her eyes. It's not correct! Why? What do I have to do now? Mom will think I cannot count! But I already add and subtract until 100. What's the right answer here? I don't know! Oh, no, I am taking too long!

I want to stop her worries. I want to give her a magic hug to calm her down: to err is human, my love. Mistakes are OK, what is more, they are there to show the teacher how you think, where you may be wrong. They tell the teacher more than a dozen good answers. You can only make mistakes if you try!

I need to find a way in and unfreeze her mind. I need to connect to her. So I decide to go visual. I step to the whiteboard. I draw there her analogue clock, the small alarm clock she has on her nightstand, in the shape of an owl. I draw numbers, too, and divide it in two halves. I draw on it the time: 8.26. She tells me where to place the hands of the clock.

-How many minutes are there in one half?

- Thirty.

- Good. So we have one half to go until 9 o'clock. How many minutes are left from the first half?

- Four.

- So, how many minutes in total until 9 o'clock?

Her eyes light up. I see there the sparkle of joy as she realises what the answer is. 

- Thirty-four! Mom, I think I understand!

A moment to cherish. A moment I would love to keep and re-live. 

This inspires me to teach.


by Ildikó

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